Click on the tabs below for information about the Rural Immersion Institute of the North (RIIN).

  • About Rural Immersion Institute of the North (RIIN)

    Rural Immersion Institute of the NorthThe Rural Immersion Institute of the North (RIIN) is a roughly 3-week program that introduces healthcare students to the realities of providing care in rural Alaska. Students spend the beginning of the program in Anchorage, learning about Alaskan culture and meeting with healthcare professionals to hear about their experiences. The middle 10 days are spent job-shadowing healthcare professionals in a rural community somewhere in the state. The program ends back in Anchorage, where students present their experiences and lessons learned.

    Dates and Deadlines

    • August 22, 2017: Applications open for 2018 program.
    • October 29, 2017: Deadline for priority consideration. Applications are still accepted after this date but applicants are added to the waitlist in the order received.
    • November 15, 2017: Applicants notified of acceptance.
    • December 3, 2017: $500 deposit due.
    • December 31, 2017: Registration form due.
    • January 31, 2018: All required paperwork must be complete.
    • February 28, 2018: First tuition installment due.
    • April 30, 2018: Second tuition installment due.
    • July 18, 2018: Start of RIIN program.
    • July 25-August 3, 2018: Students in rural sites.
    • August 8, 2018: Last day of RIIN program.


    • $20 application fee, payable online at bit.ly/RIINApplicationFee
    • $3,500 tuition for Alaska residents
    • $4,500 tuition for out-of-state residents
    • Note: All participants are required to pass a background check, which includes fingerprinting at the applicant's expense.


    Apply online at bit.ly/2018RIINApplication.

    For more information, see the RIIN 2018 brochure (pdf):

    RIIN 2018 Brochure page 1
    RIIN 2018 Brochure page 2

    For much more detailed information, see the entire 2018 RIIN Student Handbook (pdf):

     Student Handbook Cover


  • Visiting Alaska


    Alaska has a lot to offer the visitor, but it has some special challenges as well. Here are some things to be aware of in planning for your trip.


    There are no poisonous snakes or spiders in Alaska. No mountain lions, either--the only cat species native to the state is the lynx, which mainly eats rabbits. Ticks have recently moved into the southeast, and mosquitoes are everywhere. Moose and elk can be dangerous if disturbed, but will ignore you if you leave them alone.

    Bears are found in all parts of Alaska, including the Anchorage metro area. The state offers some advice on staying safe, and we will go over bear safety as part of the RIIN program, including a demonstration of how to use bear spray. (Note that bear spray is considered a weapon and cannot be carried on a plane. If you want to carry bear spray at your rural site, you will have to acquire it there.)

    There is also a staggering range of wildlife that presents no threat to humans (there are 471 species of birds alone). The Department of Fish and Game offers a partial list of the most common species found throughout the state.

    What to Bring

    Recommended Packing List

  • Rural Sites in the RIIN Program

    PetersburgPetersburg is located in southeast Alaska and is a busy fishing- and tourist town.

    Alaska includes an enormous variety of climates and terrain, and our rural communities reflect that diversity. Barrow is the northernmost town in the United States, while Ketchikan is more than a thousand miles farther south; Bethel is surrounded by flat marshlands while Talkeetna rests at the base of the continent's highest peak. Our students have visited all these places, but no two experiences are the same.

    Resources for Prospective RIIN Students:

    Rural Sites Quick-Comparison Chart: All the rural sites in the program, with their amenities.

    Rural Site Factsheets: Detailed information about each community.

    Community Index: A website, maintained by the State of Alaska, which includes statistical information on many smaller villages.

  • Photos and Videos

    Anchorage Mountain Hike

    The 2016 RIIN students went for a group hike in the Chugach Range, close to Anchorage.


    • All the Alaska AHEC's videos can be found online at the Alaska AHEC YouTube channel. Videos include interviews with students and clinic personnel from past years; recordings of all the final presentations from the end of the program; and Q and A sessions between the students and a live audience.

    Photos from RIIN 2017

    Dinner at Fox Island, in Resurrection Bay
    Dancers at the Alaska Native Heritage Center
    Telehealth Tour at Alaska Native Medical Center


    Evan Checks Out the Latest Fashion
    The Bear Enclosure at Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
    RIIN 2017 at Exit Glacier


    Photos from RIIN 2016

    Alaska Native Heritage Center
    Fort Yukon
    Anchorage Mountain Hike
    Sticker Shock
    Riding the bus in Anchorage
    Simulation Lab

    Photos from Rural Sites

    For on-site images of the rural communities where students have done job-shadowing, visit the State of Alaska's Community Photo Library.

  • Contact Us

    Gloria Burnett, Director
    Phone: (907) 786-6705
    Fax: (907) 786-6573
    Email: gburnett3@alaska.edu

    Dave Berry, Education Coordinator
    Phone: (907) 786-4853
    Fax: (907) 786-6573
    Email: drberry@alaska.edu

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